Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS6830654 B1
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 09/831,213
PCT numberPCT/FI1999/000928
Publication dateDec 14, 2004
Filing dateNov 8, 1999
Priority dateNov 9, 1998
Fee statusPaid
Also published asCA2349166A1, CA2349166C, DE69938433D1, DE69938433T2, EP1133339A1, EP1133339B1, WO2000027494A1
Publication number09831213, 831213, PCT/1999/928, PCT/FI/1999/000928, PCT/FI/1999/00928, PCT/FI/99/000928, PCT/FI/99/00928, PCT/FI1999/000928, PCT/FI1999/00928, PCT/FI1999000928, PCT/FI199900928, PCT/FI99/000928, PCT/FI99/00928, PCT/FI99000928, PCT/FI9900928, US 6830654 B1, US 6830654B1, US-B1-6830654, US6830654 B1, US6830654B1
InventorsMauri Salmisuo
Original AssigneeSteris Europe Inc Suomen Sivuliike
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and device for treating water for evaporation
US 6830654 B1
In the production of water vapor, particularly in the production of especially clean water vapor, dissolved gases, mainly atmospheric gases, are removed from feed water (2). The feed water is sprayed by a spray nozzle (3) mounted in a hemispherical chamber (1) in a spray pattern which matches an area of an upper end (4) of an arrangement of vertical feed tubes of a falling film evaporator. The dissolved gases are liberated quickly from the sprayed droplets and removed through outlets (5) in the hemispherical chamber. The sprayed droplets collect at the upper ends of the vertical evaporation channels and are distributed evenly thereamong before atmospheric gases can be redissolved.
Previous page
Next page
What is claimed is:
1. A method of feeding water to heat transfer surfaces of a falling film evaporator having vertical evaporation channels having upper and lower ends, the method comprising:
spraying drops of water with absorbed atmospheric gases to distribute the water over the upper ends of the vertical evaporation channels of the falling film evaporator;
simultaneously with the spraying, (1) separating the atmospheric gases from the water and (2) discharging the separated atmospheric gases such that the atmospheric gases are removed from the water and the water is distributed over the upper ends of the vertical evaporation channels;
evaporating the water from which the atmospheric gases have been removed in the vertical evaporation channels to generate water vapor with reduced atmospheric gas contamination; and,
discharging the water vapor with reduced atmospheric gas contamination from the lower ends of the vertical evaporation channels separately from the separated gases, whereby re-dissolution of the separated gases is prevented.
2. The method as defined in claim 1 further including:
collecting the sprayed droplets into a layer of water above the upper ends of the vertical evaporation channels;
separating additional atmospheric gases from the water layer;
feeding water from the water layer into the upper ends of the vertical evaporation channels.
3. An apparatus for removing dissolved atmospheric gases from water, the apparatus comprising:
a falling film evaporator which includes a plurality of vertical evaporating channels, the vertical evaporating channels having upper ends arranged in an evaporator channel upper end arrangement for receiving water to be vaporized, product vapor exiting from a lower end of the evaporator channels;
a chamber covering the evaporator channels upper end arrangement;
a perforated plate mounted in the chamber above and separated from the evaporator channels upper end arrangement;
at least one spraying device disposed in the chamber to break the water into a spray of droplets, the spray of droplets being sprayed onto the plate, the water passing through perforations in the plate to the evaporator channel upper ends; and
at least one dissolved gas outlet from the chamber for removal of the atmospheric gases separated from the water droplets during spraying before the water droplets enter the evaporating channels, such that the product vapor has a lower concentration of atmospheric gases than the water.
4. The apparatus as set forth in claim 3 wherein the vertical evaporating channels upper end arrangement is confined to a circular area and the chamber mounted to the vertical evaporating channels upper end arrangement is hemispherical.

The invention relates to the production of clean vapour. In particular, the invention relates to the removal of dissolved gases from the feed-water when using a falling film evaporator.


When producing especially clean water vapour, particularly for sterilisation purposes, the feed-water to be evaporated has to be purified of the gases dissolved therein, among other things, to maximise the concentration of the vapour that is generated and, consequently, the condensation heat, and to minimise the corrosive effect. The gases dissolved in the feed-water are mainly atmospheric gases nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and argon. The solubility of the gases in the water is at the lowest near the boiling point of the liquid.

According to a commonly used standard, for example, the vapour may not contain more than 3.5% non-condensable gases. To remove the dissolved gases, pre-degassing chambers where the heated water has stayed in the gas space for such a long time that the gases have had time to bubble out, as is described in Finnish patent 77 380, have been used in the water feed line.

A falling film evaporator comprises usually a vertical tube bundle, the heating medium, like vapour, a heat transfer fluid or a flue gas being located on the outside. The liquid to be evaporated is fed from above and it flows as a film along the inner walls of the tubes, partly evaporating. The vapour that was generated flows downwards together with the liquid film and is separated from the non-evaporated liquid in the lower part of the evaporator.

Usually, the main problem with the falling film evaporator is the spreading of the liquid into an even film into the tubes. Often a perforated plate arrangement disposed above the smoothed tube end plane is employed. Other solutions are individual distributors or nozzles at the tube ends.

For the degassing of liquids, solutions are known wherein the hot liquid is broken into a fine spray to make the gas bubbles that are generated separate effectively from the liquid phase as a result of a large liquid-gas interface and a short way of travel. The method is used for the degassing of steam boiler water, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,201,366, for example, and for the stripping of volatile substances from a liquid phase, as disclosed in publication EP-A 167 647. Besides, negative pressure is often used in the space into which the liquid phase is sprayed.

An apparatus for the removal of gases from water to be used as surgical rinse water is known from U.S. Pat. No. 4,816,044. The apparatus comprises a degassing chamber and the feed-water is sprayed into the upper part thereof. The gases are removed through a pump arrangement generating a slightly negative pressure in the gas space of the degassing chamber.

Methods and apparatuses for distributing feed-water evenly to the inlet of the evaporator channel assembly of an evaporator by using spray nozzles are known from U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,332,469 and 4,683,025.


The method according to claim 1 has now been invented for distributing feed-water effectively to the beginning of the heat-transfer surfaces of a falling film evaporator by removing the gases dissolved in the water and preventing them from re-dissolving at the same time. Another object of the invention is the device according to claim 2 which makes it possible, in a falling film evaporator, in the same operation, to remove the gases from the feed-water and to distribute it evenly into the tube bundle of the evaporator. The apparatus comprises an evaporator top and at least one spraying device arranged therein. In this case, the spraying device is a nozzle, a mist sprayer or a similar device for creating a spray of liquid of a given shape.

The hit pattern of the spraying device or devices is dimensioned in such a way that when water is fed through the device, the water is evenly distributed as droplets over the entire tube end plane under the top. Besides, the spray of droplets results in a large gas-liquid interface. Owing to the fact that the liquid discharged from the spraying device is heated, the gases dissolved in the liquid separate very quickly from the liquid phase at the same time as part of the liquid evaporates. Because the liquid phase distributed as droplets reaches the evaporator channel assembly in a very short time, no gases re-dissolve in the phase before the evaporation starts, as could happen in devices according to the state of the art, wherein the separation of gases was carried out, for example, in a separate chamber.

In addition to the spraying device, the evaporator top comprises an outlet or outlets for removal of the gases. Part of the vapour that was generated in the discharging phase acts as to a carrier in the outflow.

The distribution of the liquid into the evaporator channel assembly can also be affected by arranging a perforated trough above the ends of the evaporator tubes, wherein the water remains as a thin layer before flowing into the evaporator tubes. Dissolved gases can also separate from the thin layer.


FIG. 1 is a sectional side view of the apparatus according to the invention, and

FIG. 2 is a sectional side view of another embodiment of the apparatus according to the invention.


The invention will be described in more detail below, with reference to the accompanying drawing. 1 is a dome-shaped top of a falling film evaporator. The evaporator resembles a tube and shell heat exchanger placed in a vertical position. The feed-water is delivered through line 2 where it can be in a pre-heated state of, for example, 120 C. In line 2, the pressure is preferably about 0.3 to about 6 bar higher than the pressure of the clean vapour to be produced.

The nozzle 3 is selected to provide, in the pressure range used, a hit pattern that substantially corresponds to the shape and size of the tube end plane 4. Suitable nozzles meeting the pressure and temperature requirements are commercially available. In this embodiment, the nozzle is placed in a symmetrically perpendicular position above the tube end plane but it can also be disposed in other ways. Further, more than one spraying device can be employed in order to achieve an even hit pattern. When the heated water is discharged from the nozzle 3 as a spray of droplets, the gases dissolved in the water separate quickly from the droplets and leave through the outlets 5 together with a small quantity of carrier vapour. The degassed droplets of water are distributed evenly into the evaporator tube assembly, and, in contrast to conventional evaporators, a perforated plate or another kind of distributing plate is not necessarily needed above the tube end plant 4. The water reaches the tube ends in a very short time, as a result of which the transfer of heat from the tube wall to the water starts practically immediately.

The distance between the nozzle 3 and the tube end plane 4 is preferably about half the diameter of the plane 4. The apparatus can be provided with a sight glass 6.

Preferably, the separated gases and the carrier steam are led into a heat exchanger where the thermal energy thereof is utilised for preheating the feed-water.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the apparatus is further provided with a trough 7 that has a perforated bottom and that is arranged above the tube end plane 4 by means of a spacer 8. In this embodiment, a thin layer of water, from which gases still can separate before the water moves to the ends of the evaporator tubes through the bottom holes of the trough, accumulates in the trough 7.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3332469Sep 13, 1966Jul 25, 1967Rosenblad CorpFalling film type heat exchanger
US3849232 *Mar 13, 1973Nov 19, 1974Wiegand Karlsruhe GmbhFalling film evaporator
US4683025Feb 10, 1986Jul 28, 1987The Graver CompanyMethod and apparatus to convert a long tube vertical evaporator to a falling film evaporator
US4698136May 23, 1985Oct 6, 1987Fried Krupp GmbhProcess for the continuous production of boiler feed water
US4816044Mar 7, 1988Mar 28, 1989Riwoplan Medizin-Technische EinrichtungsgesellschaftApparatus for the degasification of flushing water
US4946559Nov 3, 1988Aug 7, 1990Oy Santasalo-Sohlberg AbRemoval of dissolved volatile impurities from liquid
US4981555 *Sep 21, 1989Jan 1, 1991Metallgesellschaft AgProcess and apparatus for concentrating a solution
US5201366Jun 26, 1991Apr 13, 1993Asea Brown Boveri Ltd.Process and equipment for the preheating and multi-stage degassing of water
US5232085 *Jul 25, 1991Aug 3, 1993Hitachi, Ltd.Distillation system with a hydrophobic porous membrane
US5246541 *May 14, 1991Sep 21, 1993A. Ahlstrom CorporationEvaporator for liquid solutions
US5770020 *Nov 18, 1996Jun 23, 1998Keeran Corporation N.V.Distillation apparatus
US5930998Dec 4, 1996Aug 3, 1999Asea Brown Boveri AgProcess and apparatus for preheating and deaeration of make-up water
US6068730 *Aug 21, 1996May 30, 2000Hadwaco Ltd OyLiquid distributor for evaporator
US6338774 *Nov 17, 1998Jan 15, 2002L'air Liquide Societe Anonyme Pour L'etude Et L'exploitation Des Procedes Georges ClaudeLiquid distributor for non-vertical distillation columns, and distillation column including the same
EP0167647A2Jul 10, 1984Jan 15, 1986Ebner & Co. KG Anlagen und ApparateMethod and device for the degasification of liquids and their use
FI77380B Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7534327 *Nov 7, 2002May 19, 2009Stephan AugustinDevice for recovering drinking water from condensate as well as a method and a deep-drawing die for production of said device
US7841201 *Apr 2, 2007Nov 30, 2010Efficient Energy GmbhHeat pump that evaporates water as a working liquid to generate a working vapor
US7849710Oct 12, 2005Dec 14, 2010York International CorporationFalling film evaporator
US8302426Jun 8, 2010Nov 6, 2012Johnson Controls Technology CompanyHeat exchanger
US8650905Jan 19, 2011Feb 18, 2014Johnson Controls Technology CompanyFalling film evaporator
US8863551Jan 9, 2009Oct 21, 2014Johnson Controls Technology CompanyHeat exchanger
US9222483Oct 22, 2010Dec 29, 2015Efficient Energy GmbhHeat pump
US9347715Jan 9, 2009May 24, 2016Johnson Controls Technology CompanyVapor compression system
US20050098423 *Nov 7, 2002May 12, 2005Stephan AugustinDevice for recovering drinking water from condensate as well as a method and a deep-drawing die for production of said device
US20060080998 *Oct 12, 2005Apr 20, 2006Paul De LarminatFalling film evaporator
US20070245759 *Apr 2, 2007Oct 25, 2007Holger SedlakHeat pump
US20090178790 *Jan 12, 2009Jul 16, 2009Johnson Controls Technology CompanyVapor compression system
US20100242533 *Jun 8, 2010Sep 30, 2010Johnson Controls Technology CompanyHeat exchanger
US20100319395 *Jan 9, 2009Dec 23, 2010Johnson Controls Technology CompanyHeat exchanger
US20100326108 *Jan 9, 2009Dec 30, 2010Johnson Controls Technology CompanyVapor compression system
US20110036100 *Oct 22, 2010Feb 17, 2011Holger SedlakHeat Pump
US20110056664 *Sep 3, 2010Mar 10, 2011Johnson Controls Technology CompanyVapor compression system
US20110120181 *Jan 19, 2011May 26, 2011Johnson Controls Technology CompanyFalling film evaporator
U.S. Classification159/49, 159/13.2, 96/188, 159/48.1, 95/241, 159/43.1, 159/27.1, 159/DIG.2
International ClassificationF22D1/28, F22B37/48, B01D1/06, B01D1/30, C02F1/04, B05B1/00, B01D1/22, C02F1/20, B01D19/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S159/02, B01D19/0036, B01D1/065, B01D19/0047
European ClassificationB01D19/00H, B01D1/06B, B01D19/00P2
Legal Events
May 3, 2001ASAssignment
Effective date: 20010420
Jun 16, 2008FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Jun 23, 2008REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Jun 14, 2012FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Jun 14, 2016FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12